I think that a good training plan is one of the most important things to hammer out before you start training for a triathlon. Years ago, I would have just gone out and S/B/R whatever I wanted and just made sure I could do the distances. Now I rely on a good training plan to start off my training on point.
I normally will search the web prior to pick out a training plan. I have tried dozens of search terms to try and find a great plan for me, but I have not ever found it yet. I always end up going to beginner triathlete and using a plan from them. A lot of plans on the web are expensive. They require more time than I have (after all, this is a hobby, not my life) and it is not quite what I want.
For example, I do not want weight room training in my workout schedule. Now I am in no way discounting the benefits it may or may not have, I am simply saying that I do not want to go to the weight room. With all the swimming, biking and running we do, I am not sure I could find time to lift things up and put them down. My core workouts even slack off once I am into a plan. So there is no way I am going to the weight room.
I also want to find the right length of training. In 2013, when I became an Ironman, (suttle enough?) I trained for months. I started training in March for a September race. 7 month long training plan! By the time race day got there, I was so ready for it to be over! I think that is one reason that it took me so long to recover mentally from that race. So now I will be sure to not train to long for a race.
SO, here is what I use. I use the Beginner Triathlete's custom made plans. I input all the information like, date of race, when I want training to start and even the pace I think I can do throughout the race. I then select how I want to focus my training. Do I want to focus on swimming, biking or running?
This time for Redman, I am swimming 2 times a week, biking 3 times a week and running 3 times a week for a total of 8 workouts:
Monday- medium swim
Tuesday- medium run, medium bike
Wednesday- short bike
Thursday- long swim
Friday- short run
Saturday- long bike
Sunday- long run
I know there is no rest day, but if you read this blog, then you know I am not opposed to taking a rest day when needed. This schedule gives me some flexibility to live my life and do the things I need to do all while training to be a two time Ironman and to beat Brad. It also means that I do not have to get up early every single morning so I can sneak in my lunch swims if possible. The beauty of this IM plan is that I will not start it until mid May, which I think will help me a lot more than last time.